tv Newsmakers CSPAN October 7, 2012 10:00am-10:30am EDT
>> host: stephen flanagan, kissinger at csis, thanks so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you. >> host: that is all for washington journal today. thank you for joining us. tomorrow, washington journal takes to you the battleground state of ohio. for that we take you live to the campus of ohio state university in columbus. our guests include jim from the eye oi news network and daniel tokaji from osu. we'll also talk to representative jay hottinger, ohio state representative and rep representative robert hagan ann wrap things up with the college republicans and democrats. visiting their opinions for campaign 2012. that is all tomorrow starting at 7:00 eastern time here on c-span washington journal. have a good day. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] see the only vice presidential debate this thursday night live on c-span, c-span radio and c-span. org. watch and engage. next, news makers with new york congressman steve israel then live at 11:00 a.m., the debate in the connecticut u.s. senate race. after this, last wednesday's debate between president obama and republican presidential candidate mitt romney. this week on news americas with he are joined by democrat in new york and the efforts to retake the thousands november, congress man, thank you very much for being here.
>> guest: great to be with you.yq >> host: we got to reporters here in d.c. in the studio. aaron bleak, a political reporter there, henry jackson, ap political reporter. i think you got the first question. gl ahead. g congressman the race for the house has tack and backseat for both the presidency and the senate. most analyst don't think democrats have a great chance of retaking the house. but i have heard more statements from you. can you tell us what percentage chance you think your party has of taking the 25 seats you need in order to reclaim the chamber? >> well, i can tell that you we have the ball on the republican 20-yard line. i never said that optimism wins an election. it doesn't. you got to be realistic to n election. we started off on the own 20-yard line. we have driven the billion and the red zone we need 25 seats now how do we get there. we have got about 73
districts in play right now. we have got 53 toad blue candidates. there are 66 districts in the country that have republican incumbent but voted for president obama or john kerry in 2004. so we have a good playing field. and as of today, we got about 32 democratic challengers who are either tied or ahead in the polls. so we got the billion on the republican 20-yard line. we got to kick a field goal. we'll not do this with 35-40-50 seats in. this is going to be a field goal. any good football fan knows when you have the billion on the 20-yard line. the ability to score largely depends on the wind. if we have wind on our back as we do now, we score. if we have wind in front of us, it is going to be hard. fit is neutral environment. maybe maybe not. right now we got momentum. boy the way both cook, two of washington premier political pundits just upgraded us. they acknowledged that we
have some momentum. they are saying it may be between zero seats and ten seats, but they acknowledged that we have more races in play. how do you define victory forc yourself this cycle will it be if you win ten seats or will it be if you retake the chamber? >> i define victory by simply winning. and my job as chairman of the dccc to win as many as we can in the environment we are competing in. will not get involved in. it is it single digits, is it majority? my job is to just put as many in play as we can. exploit our opponent's weaknesses, cap capitalize on the strength. i tell you, we're in a heck of a lot better position now, 30 days out, than we were a year and a half ago when we began this campaign. >> congressman, we have presidential debate this week. i think a lot of analysts thought that governor romney had a strong performance.
how do you think president obama's performance is going affect turnout for democrats? >> i don't think it will, actually. you know, most people don't remember that in the first did he bait walter mondale just crushed ronald reagan. they remember the last debate. most people have not remembered that throughout the republican presidential primary debates, mitt romney was considered to have lost most of them. every week there was another star who beat mitt romney in the depate. they remember what happened at the end. it am a mets' fan. most people don't realize the met may have been behind a few runs what they remembered what is happened in the 9th inning. the first debate i think is not going to have bearing on democratic turnout. it is what is going to happen at the close. i have great confidence that the president is going to continue his momentum and going to win and so will house democrats. >> my condolence on the mets this year, congressman. >> thank you.
>> we also had a big number come out today with the jobs report that some sense of that may be booing democrats today. do you think that is going to be a factor in some of the competitive districts? eye should know for our viewers that we are talking on this friday afternoon whenxxx the jobs numbers have comexx out.x our viewers will be watchingx sunday. gl ahead, congressman. >> well, there is no question that the jobs report that came out two days ago is very favorable. you know? we are not there yet. we have work to do. but the fact that unemployment is now under 8%, says we are heading in the right direction under varied economic policies that governor romney is articulating. we had crushing unemployment. unemployment went up every single month and that was a result of the policies and democrats have been articulating. we are going in a better
direction. joblessness is going down. unemployment is going down. i would rather be going in that direction than the direction we went in. the numbers shall i think, are good, at not really as matter of politics which is good to the connery. that is what counts. >> congressman, i want to ask you a couple of questions about campaign strategy. one of them having to do with medicare.xxx i know that when paul ryan was picked as the republican vice president nominee. i don't think there is anybody more excited than were you about that. you gies have made it a living of paul ryan's budget and the proposal to turn medicare into a voucher program. am wondering though if you think that that line of attack on republicans has panned out as well as you thought it would give in the fact that the romney campaign has pointed to the medicare cuts obtained in the health care bill? >> yeah. the same that governor romney criticizes those but in the
ryan budget by the way. as president clinton says it takes brass for to criticize for the thing you did. i will it will this you. i can give you evidence that those hor chicago misplaced pray or is by republicans voting to end medicare in order to fund tax cuts for millionaires that those priorities have helped democrats across the board. governor romney chose paul ryan as the running mate on august 11th. before august 11th if you took a look at the generic congressional ballot polling in the country, it was pretty much tied. it was, mow, i talked about that still wind when you or in the 20-yard line. we prn the still wind. they were tight. maybe up one. after august 11th when governor romney decided to double down on the republican plan to fund tax cuts for millionaires and big oil companies, the generics began to spread. instead of being in a neutral environment, we were up one, two and the.
then when todd akin in late august expressed those horrific thoughts and not what he said that bothered me but what he thought about some legitimacy to forms of rape, it widen even more then disclosures of the republican romping in the sea, the generics spread even more. independent voters were reminded how extreme the people are and that these people have priorities that would, in pack, end their medicare, in order to fun the tax cuts for millionaires. the more republican priorities are articulated the better we do. so in august, the nbc "wall street journal" generic had us up one. this week, we are up four in the generics. if they keep spreading if they get fife or six or more then we win back the house. direct correlation between the gen ir ache polling and the ability to win back the house and right now it is going in the right direction. >> the emerge strategy fourgies seems to be a attaching republicans to the
tea party movement. i was reading on the way over here, actually, you mentioned the cook report upit did on the house rate. david, the great analysts over there for the house races, pointed out that just 19 of the almost 90 members of the freshman class, the republican freshman class, actually joined the tea party caucus when they joined congress. and only two of those members are actually considered among the most vulnerable republicans in conpress. i wonder fit is harder to execute that line of attack when the members have not been associating themselvesx as much with the tea party wince they have joined congress? >> well, in fact, they may have tried to modulate themselves in the public relations but they voted with the tea party down the line every step, every vote when they voted for the ryan budget. they casts the tea party vote on the defining issue of the congress. medicare versus millionaires. now here is what happened. most of this the guys were
elected in 201 on unmistakable tea party tsunami then the buyer's remorse set in with pent voters across the country. mostly and fairly moderate suburban areas. the tea party wave receded and it left the tea party members try and dry with their own voting records. i respectfully disagree with david. said two tea party republicans in trouble. i think it is far more than that. i can think of the off the top of my head. allen west in floor did and lee in new york. joe walsh in illinois off the top of my head. i mean, there are other tea party republicans like mann haworth in new york who say lewded the tea party thanked the tea party for electing them who are turning around assay now i actually vote with president obama. that doesn't work. people want to know where you stand, who you are for, then the next 30 days going to be aboutle hog the republicans accountable to their voting records. did youette vote for the ryan budget or did you not vote
for the ryan budget that this is define sure. women's hold the republicans accountable in districts throughout the country and that is why i think we'll do pretty well. >> you talked a little bit about the circumstances you think you need to put the house formalin play this year that ballot moves, one thing that i notice in going over kind of the battleground races that is in the all the districts you mentioned like opted obama won in 2008 necessarily have a competitive candidate do you feel k lou recruited enough to get the numbers you need to get across, to great the 20-yard line to the goal line as you said? >> everything that is in our control we have not only done but we exceed expectation and so we have outrecruited the republicans. we outraised them $12 million for the system. we have outrun. we redistrict them in many areas like illinois, new york and elsewhere, california, and so, everything that we have been asked to do we have exceeded expectation.
again, we have over 70 districts in place. we have got 352 red to blue candidates. we only need 25 to within the house back. there are outlier districts that we didn't think would be on the boards that are now on the bards even the rothenberg report ap the cook report have acknowledged that over the past weekend. and so we have enough districts in play. we have defined battle space. our battle space gives us enough districts in plain order to win 25 seats but there is no question about it. it is largely going depend on the wind. if the president generates enough wind in the back then we get those 25 seats if it is neutral environment much harder. if something guess wrong and we got wind in our face. we'll not get those 25 seats. we are talking about a field goal. what are these districts you are thinking that were not necessarily in play or now in play? i mean, you are interested in seeing where you see these seats? >> well you know, we have got districts then in florida.
raul against mary bono mack is now in play. we are doing very well. jose hernandez against jeff denim in play. we're doing well. you know? just those two, in plo dar, demings against webster. we are doing very well. those were three race that's the pundits didn't think we had a chance in. now they are saying they are in play. why are they they in flay this goes to recruiting range dy. we made decision early on that the american people have unquenchable thirst for are problem-solving, not for blame, but solutions. take a look at the races now unplay in florida. orlando's first african-american woman police chief who brought crime down 40% take a look at the race against jeff denim in california, jose hernandez, nasa astronaut, or the race against mary bono mack in palm springs. dr. raul lou wes, an emergency room physician
against mary be know mack. a physician, astronaut, a police chief, they are not about left or right, they are not about blame, they are about solutions. they are solutionsists. not democrats or republicans. that is why our candidates and our recruits are doing so well across the board and why the races are now in play. >> congressman you keep noting the number 25 and the cook political report. david of "the cook political report" has said you will likely need to pick up between 3 and 40 republican seats because you are likely to lose some on your side. >> well, david understands that we have got some democrats and pretty tough districts, you know, the terrain may not be as favorable as we want. there is no question we have to ply offense and defense. if i paid david to be resident scept uk i didn't pay him enough. it understand that you know, he is not going to be a cheerleader for one party or the other. i happen to think that our front line candidates,
democratic incumbents in tough districts are in good shape for two reasons: number one, if they could win in 20010 against the roughest and the most brutal environment that many of us have ever seen, they can win in 2012. it is much more hos pit k!able environment for democrats. number two, they are field tested and battle ready. they know what is out there. they have been working their districts very, very hard. they are connecting with their voters and virtually all of our front line in cum dent incumbents are much better shape in the polls than the republican in you cum bents are who barely holding on right now. we are in 2012, we are in better shape than we were in 201 and in 2012, republicans are where we were in 2010. >> congressman, if i could follow up then, let's say the democrats do take back the housing. do democrats automatically put nancy pelosi back in the
speakership? >> well i end! hope so. i tell you what, that is decision we are not focused on now. anybody who knows nancy palos sinoshe is focused relentlessly on the next 30 i das or so on the election. and if we take back the house, we'll figure out what it looks like the day after. but you the, i occupy the narrowest lanes in washington. 25 cars mine lane. that is the number i got to rub off the road if i look the left or right. am distraught. i will focus on the next 30 dayance the 25 seats. >> congressman, if you guys within the house, you guys will almost certainly also won the presidency and the senate. if you don't within the house, though, we'll have at least two more years of split government. we have from the fiscal clip coming up here. we have got a lot of major issue on the table now. i wonder if you have any hope that the kind of gridlock that we have seen in congress and recent years will subside in that the two sides will
start working together and actually get things done. >> dow this v some hope for this reason. if even if we fall short of the 25 seats and not conceding a single seat but even if we fall short we will have beaten back the tea party tsunami of 201 it a loaf the republicans who wrote in and then said we'll not compromise. we will not negotiate. we will not think about moving the country forward because we are too busy thinking about how to go to the right a lot of those tea party republicans either will be defeated or they will be chastened at the numbers. and i hope that that will give moderate republicans a sense of empowerment that they can step up and do what democrats have been seeking for the past two years. sit down. find common ground and consensus. we can turn off. democrats want to eliminate spending that doesn't work. we are ready to have a deficit reduction deal that is big, bold, and balanced.
we also understand that in addition to spending cuts you go got to have revenue. hope that moderate republicans will be empowered to negotiate that with us for the good of the country. we have eight minutes left here.x >> congressman, you talked a little bit about that.xxx you know, when we come back and in november and to the capital, all of the congress, all the members of congress including some of the tea party members you hope to defeat this remember will still be here, will still be voting members until at least january, how do you navigate that if democrats are successful in november? >> time in thinking the day after. am focus on how to get into a position where we within the house of representative then we can reach out and cross the aisle and talk to moderate republicans and maybe even to some tea party republicans who have now bee been, have now learned the lesson firsthand as painful it may be that extremism is
not a virtue. and maybe we'll be able to talk some sense into them and get back to where we were three times in the debt reduction talks last august on three different occasion, we had deal with the republicans on spending cuts, on some revenues, on debt reduction where, on all three occasions when it was brought back to the tea party caucus they rejected that deal. am hopeful that the result of this election if nothing else will teach republicans and the republican pea party member these lesson that their constituents want agreement not disagreement. they want solutions not blame. maybe it will be a better climate in which to track to the right balance that we need to avoid the fiscalxx cliff. >> congressman, the job of campaign committee chairman used to be at one term proposition that seems to be changing quite a bit these days. we have had chuck shum earth the committee did two terms. your counterpart keith session at the republican committee is on the second term now. i wonder if you have any
interest in making this a four-year job for yourself? if would you consider continuing after this cycle is over. and now look, now look, i don't think there is any more room on my scalp for another gray hair. i am focused on what we need to do between now and the election and after the election. i got my first obligation is to report for duty in my congressional district and then we'll figure out how many seats we picked up and whether we are in the majority and focus on other things beyond that but i am focused on what counts now. that is winning the own election on long island then winning the 25 seats where else throughout the country. >> congressman, it sound like no there with not wanning to add to gry hair? >> it is, well, i tell you, i don't know. how about that? it is not a no.
it don't know. again, if i am a thinking about -- if i am thinking about 2014, i am not thinking about 2012 and not thinking about 2012 i can guarantee you we'll not pick up 25 seats. we'll stay here and go from there. >> all right. i want to talk about spending in 2012, you were one of many democrats who expressed fears about kind of the wave of super pack money. there is an interesting really in "the wall street journal" yesterday talking about a how a lot of super packs are pulling their money and actually helping democrats outspend the republican counterparts. do you still feel leary about super pack money at this point and now it is delivering your party a little bit of a financialed a van age? >> i think super packs are hacking democracy and hijacking democracy. it is insidious. on the other hand, i have never been to a baseball game in my life, getting back to the favorite team, the new york mets, where the mets had vacuum balls and their
opponents did. if one team gets bats and balls, so does the other team. they are super packs that are trying to help republicans across the country and beat democrats, then we are going to have to play on their terms. now, when you elect democrats and democratic majority when we win the 25 seats the first order of business will be in the majority to pass the disclose act so that people know where these advertisementing coming from, who sponsoring them and why. and so there will be fundamental campaign reform and more transparency and accountability for the super packs with the democratic majority. will never forget kevin mccarthy the majority leader when he and i sat down once and at the white house correspondence dinner. he said you are outrising us about it doesn't matter because the republican super packs will come in and outsource the entire campaign to the super packs. will not hold up my hands to raise the white log onto say you got the super packs, we don't.
you win. we will compete with them. the allies are competing with them. >> congressman, we are getting to the point now where you have to make decision about certain race and who to keep spending money on and who not to spend money on. there is a few candidates who had funding pulled from theo districts who reservation in place, who are no longer grab going benefit from that. am wondering, are you ruthless enough to do this? are you prepared to tell members of congress i am sorry you cannot win. we'll have to talk away the funding in your district? >> well, one, this job is definitely not for the feint-of-heart. number two, yeah, you got to be cold blooded in order to within the 25 seats. number the, we have a very good problem right now. it is a good problem to have. we may be pulling some reservations and markets but not because we are concerned about losing but because our candidates are doing so well and we don't have to help them. they are doing find by shesms. we have a very good problem
right now where we have a bunch of districts that we didn't budget for that are now winnable. call them winnable but not affordable. we got to raise the resources to play in districts we didn't think would be on the board. if anybody satisfied to me two year ago we would have over 70 race in play and 53 red to blue candidates and over 30 democratic challengers tied or ahead i would say, i cannot believe that. but it is the fact of the matter right now. we have more races coming on the board. we have competitive race in montana now. who would have predicted that? and so right now. we got to muck sure we can budget for the races. that is a good problem to have. i would rather win as opposed to affordable but not winnable. we have time for one or two more questions. >> concompress degreesman, i guess you have talked a little bit about the impact of the presidential race. do you concede that president obama has to be successful in order for you guys to take back the house this year?
>> yes. i concede it. and it is proven. in 2006, when we won the house, the generic, we were up by seven. in 2010, when the republican won the house, we they were up bay over self ren. the generics are largely a function of what is happening at the presidential level. we are now up at four or five. if the president does well, we do well. the president can do well in states where we have to run up a score new york, california, illinois, the president is not going to do well in texas,fore, al pell, i don't i think he believes he can win texas but we'll win two or three seats in texas so we got our own game plan but there is no question about it. the game plan is the kind of built to fit into the environment and we need a good, weaned a lot of success by the president to enhance the chance of getting those 20 seats. congressman, i am going to ask you a question that is going allow you to not come off as a politician and ily
to you take a and stand on issue really concerns the constituents now. i want to know if you think it is, fit is time for tim tebow start playing more for the new york jetds? >> oh, that is rough one. wow. wow. i am going to be honest with you. can tell -- i can any any questions you give me about the new york mets. tell people i don't care whether they are democrats or republicans. to mit is about mets' fans and the rest of the world. on the jets and giants i will confess i aming a mostic. i never thought i would usexx that board when talking about tim tebow.x we'll leave it there. congressman steve israelxxxxx thanks very much for beg onx newsmakers. thanks, guys. >> let me turn to the two reporter here's for a quick roundup of what we heard from chairman of the triple c the man in charge of democrat's efforts to take back the house. let me begin with you. what do you think? i mean, he says 25 but as we noted here "the cook
political report" saying more like 35 to 4. we know it is not 20 seats and the congressman says it is not 25 seat. i think what you heard from him is kind of what you heard most of the last part of the cycle early on you probably talked about whether the house is in place i think he knows il will take a big lift and we heard that. >> go ahead. >> one thing i wrote about last week is i actually looked thet spending that each committee is doing in the races and how much they spent on individual races. the democrats are playing a lot of offense. they spent about 07% of money in offensive districts. the republicans seem bent on really getting a lot more democratic districts in play so they spent upwards of 15 to 16 democratic districts and actually spent about 40% of their resource on offense and democrats have not spent a lot of in these races but if these races do wind up being in play and congressman israel has to depend them. that is going to drain resources from his efforts to take over republican-held
seats. that's the way republican was like for things to go fromxxx here. >> go ahead. >> i think part of that is where the congressmanx ambitions lie for the open seats. he talked about seats in new york, seats in florida. seats in california, even seats in text ex. these are not cheap seats to put in play or cheap seats to win. you know specifically in orlando or you know talking southern california, that is a lot of money going in the air. >> what is the money game like now. >> well, we got a better impression of how the republican seat is now. they spent a lot m more money. >> early on because they know they have the super packs to come in later to close out the race for them. so we have seen the republicans spend i think around are 20-$2 a million so far. democrats have spent half of that. the money overall is pretty even when you look at the chest so democrats do have plenty of money they can spend on dozens of house